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POH-2010-00244

Posted: 2/5/2014

Expiration date: 3/5/2014


Interested parties are hereby notified that an application has been received by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) for a Department of the Army (DA) permit for certain work in waters of the United States as described below and shown on the attached drawings.

APPLICANT: Mr. Edward Underwood, Department of Land & Natural Resources, Division of Boating & Ocean Recreation (DOBOR), 333 Queen Street, Suite 300, Honolulu, Hawaii  96813

AGENT: Cris Takushi, Oceanit, 828 Fort Street Mall, Suite 600, Honolulu, Hawaii  96813

LOCATION: Kikiaola Small Boat Harbor, Kikiaola, Waimea District, Island of Kauai, Hawaii, TMK (4) 1-2-006:003, :017, (4) 1-2-013:001, :031 - :034, :039 - :041, (4) 1-3-005:050
Coordinate location:  21.96056°N, -159.69806°W

PURPOSE: Reduce siltation at harbor entrance and erosion damage repair.

AUTHORITY: This permit application will be reviewed under the following authorities:

(X)  Perform work in or affecting navigable waters of the United States – Section 10 Rivers and Harbors Act 1899 (33 U.S.C. 403).

(X)  Discharge dredged or fill material into waters of the United States – Section 404 Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1344).  The Corps’ public interest review will consider the guidelines set forth under Section 404(b) of the Clean Water Act (40 CFR 230).

PROPOSED ACTIVITY: DOBOR proposes a three-phase approach to addressing the impacts of erosion along the shoreline to the west of the Kikiaola Small Boat Harbor (harbor) and at the harbor’s west breakwater.

A total of 80,000 cubic yards of sand would be excavated using heavy machinery such as bulldozers and excavators from a 9.53-acre borrow site located along the upper beach, landward of the Mean Higher High Water Mark (MHHWM), immediately east of the harbor.  The excavated sand would be transported using dump trucks to an adjacent parcel, TMK (4) 1-2-006:003, Lot 5, for processing (removal of unsuitable materials e.g., trash, large rocks, rubble) prior to placement at three locations along the beach west of the harbor.

Phase I involves the placement of 10,000 cubic yards of excavated sand to a site located landward of the MHHWM (outside of the Corps’ regulatory jurisdiction) of the shoreline west of the harbor.  Phase II includes two receiving sites: one located 1,600-feet west of the harbor at the intersection of the shoreline with Mamo Road and the other located immediately west of the harbor’s breakwater.  Phase II would result in the discharge of 14,000 cubic yards of sand into a water of the U.S. at the Mamo Road receiving site and 36,120 cubic yards of sand into a water of the U.S. at the breakwater receiving site.  The two receiving sites would provide sources of sand for natural transport in a westerly direction along the eroded shoreline west of the breakwater.  Phase III involves the repair of the west breakwater structure to the originally-constructed dimensions.  DOBOR would re-use existing armor stones where appropriate and excavated sand for backfill.  The breakwater repair work would result in the discharge of 275 cubic yards of fill material (stone, sand backfill and aggregate).  The breakwater work area would be isolated and surrounded using a temporary sandbag/stone barrier.  Construction of the temporary sandbag/stone barrier would result in the discharge of 188 cubic yards of fill material into a water of the U.S.

DOBOR has proposed a maintenance plan for the routine bypass of sand from the borrow site east of the harbor to the breakwater receiving site at an estimated 6,000 cubic yards yearly.

The DOBOR work plan is attached to this notice (Enclosure 1).

BACKGROUND INFORMATION: The harbor was constructed in 1959 by the State of Hawaii, and improvements were made in 1961, 1964 and 2009.  The shoreline at this location is subject to a strong westward littoral drift.  The construction of the harbor interrupted the natural sand transport in this region, thereby affecting the shorelines adjacent to the harbor.  Since 1959, the beach east of the harbor has accreted at an average rate of 2.4-feet per year, while the beach west of the harbor eroded at an average rate of 2.1-feet per year.  Such erosive forces west of the harbor place inland properties at risk and increase discharges of upland sediments into the marine environment.  Wave diffraction along the west breakwater combined with high surge has eroded the root of the breakwater and structural upland backfill approximately 75-feet inland from the 1959 shoreline.  Additionally, sand accumulates within the harbor entrance creating a navigational hazard and increasing the need for maintenance dredging.

MITIGATION: DOBOR has stated in its application that compensatory mitigation is not required for the proposed action.  However, in accordance with the Final Rule on Compensatory Mitigation for Losses of Aquatic Resources (33 CFR Part 332), and after a full evaluation of the probable impacts of the proposed activity, the Corps will determine whether compensatory mitigation is required to offset any unavoidable impacts to waters of the U.S.

To minimize project-generated increased turbidity/sedimentation of waters adjacent to the fill areas, DOBOR has proposed to excavate a minimum of 5 test pits within the borrow area to verify the quality and suitability of subsurface sands in each test pit.  DOBOR would not place any sand containing greater than 6% silt content waterward of the MHHWM, instead placing finer grain sands in the upper reaches of the placement sites to prevent introduction of silty sands into marine waters.  To avoid project-generated increased turbidity/sedimentation of waters adjacent to the breakwater, DOBOR has proposed use of a temporary sandbag barrier surrounding the breakwater root repair work to isolate the active work area and minimize introduction of construction-generated sediments into marine waters.

The proposed action would provide temporary relief to the eroded shoreline, thereby reducing discharge of upland sediments into marine waters.

WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATION: The Corps has determined the proposed action would result in the initial discharge of approximately 50,000 cubic yards of sand (fill material) and a maximum of 60,000 cubic yards over a period of ten years (6,000 cubic yards per year) into a water of the U.S. and would require authorization under Section 404.  Under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, the Corps may not issue a DA permit for the proposed activity until the applicant obtains a certification or waiver of certification from the State of Hawaii, Department of Health-Clean Water Branch (DOH-CWB). 

COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT ACT CERTIFICATION: The proposed action would affect land or water uses in the Coastal Zone.  Under Section 307(c)(3) of the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1456(c)(3)) (CZMA), the Corps may not issue a permit for the described work until the applicant obtains an individual CZM Consistency Concurrence from the State of Hawaii, Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism, Office of Planning.

CULTURAL AND HISTORIC RESOURCES: In accordance with the requirements set forth in Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), the proposed work is being evaluated for possible effects on historic properties, including those listed in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.

Ground-disturbing activities will only occur at the borrow site located on the upper beach fronting TMK (4) 1-2-006:003 and TMK (4) 1-2-006:041 and within the existing footprint of the west breakwater root of harbor parcel TMK (4) 1-2-006:017.  In its application, DOBOR stated that there are no known cultural or historic resources within the project area.  The Corps has reviewed the National and State Registers of Historic Places for the Island of Kauai for the presence of historic properties within the subject parcels listed above and none were identified.  An adjacent parcel, TMK (4) 1-2-006:004 (1.7-acres) features a cemetery, however, DOBOR has not proposed any modification to this parcel.

ENDANGERED SPECIES: Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1536) (ESA) requires federal agencies to consult with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and/or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) on any action that may affect a species listed (or proposed for listing) under the ESA as threatened or endangered or any designated critical habitat.

Based on the project location, the Corps has determined the following ESA-listed species have the potential to occur within the project area: Hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricate), Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), endangered, and Hawaiian monk seals (Monachus schauinslandi), endangered.  In addition, based on the project location, the Corps has determined the following ESA-listed terrestrial species have the potential to occur within the project area: Hawaiian Hoary Bat (Lasiurus cinereus semotus), endangered, Hawaiian Coot (Fulica alai), endangered, Hawaiian Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus knudseni), endangered, Hawaiian Duck (Anas wyvilliana), endangered, Hawaiian Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus sandvicensis), endangered, Hawaiian Goose (Branta sandvicensis), endangered, Newells’ Shearwater (Puffinus auricularis newelli), threatened, Hawaiian Petrel (Pterodroma sandwichensis), endangered.  Concurrently with the issuance of this notice, the Corps will evaluate the potential project-related impacts to protected terrestrial and marine species and their designated critical habitat and, if required, initiate consultation with the local USFWS and NMFS office and appropriate state agency(s).

ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT: The proposed work is being evaluated for possible effects to Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) pursuant to Section 305(b) the Magnuson Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1996 (16 U.S.C. 1855(b)) (MSFCMA) and associated federal regulations found at 50 CFR Part 600 Subpart K.  The Honolulu District area of responsibility includes areas of EFH as Fishery Management Plans.  We have reviewed the January 20, 1999, Western Pacific Fishery Management Council’s Environmental Assessment to locate EFH areas as identified by NMFS.

Kikiaola Harbor and surrounding coastal areas experience poor water quality primarily due to fluvial deposition of silt and organic matter carried to the ocean from the Waimea River located approximately 2 miles to the east.  These fluvial deposits contribute to the dark coloration of marine sediments and waters and may also be a primary factor in the apparent lack of significant coral growth in the area. A diatomaceous film (pelagic siliceous algae) covers much of the algae reef and contributes to poor water quality.  A dense algal mat covers most available substrate.  DOBOR surveyed the in-water fill areas in February 2013 and observed two individual coral heads (one small encrusting lobe coral and one cauliflower or rose coral no larger than a fist) within the proposed footprint.  DOBOR has not proposed relocation of these corals prior to placement of sand within the fill areas.

DOBOR would process all excavated sand to determine suitability of sand for placement at the receiving sites.  To minimize siltation of marine waters, sand of smaller grain size would be placed in areas landward of the MHHWM while sand of a larger grain size would be placed in areas subject to wave action.

Based on the location of the project at the shoreline, the Corps has determined that the project area contains EFH identified for the following Management Unit Species: Bottomfish (all life stages), Pelagics (all life stages), Coral Reef Ecosystem, and Crustaceans (lobster and crab, all life stages).  Concurrently with the issuance of this notice, the Corps will evaluate the potential project-related impacts to EFH and, if required, initiate consultation with the local NMFS office.

EVALUATION: The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impacts, including cumulative impacts, of the proposed activity on the public interest.  That decision will reflect the national concern for both protection and utilization of important resources.  The benefits, which reasonably may be expected to accrue from the proposal, must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments.  All factors which may be relevant to the proposal will be considered, including the cumulative effects thereof; among those are conservation, economics, aesthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, historic properties, fish and wildlife values, flood hazards, floodplain values, land use, navigation, shoreline erosion and accretion, recreation, water supply and conservation, water quality, energy needs, safety, food and fiber production, mineral needs, considerations of property ownership, and, in general, the needs and welfare of the people.

The Corps is soliciting comments from the public; Federal, State, and local agencies and officials; and other interested parties in order to consider and evaluate the impacts of this activity.  Any comments received will be considered by the Corps to determine whether to issue, modify, condition, or deny a permit for the work.  To make this decision, comments are used to assess impacts on endangered species, historic properties, water quality, general environmental effects, and the other public interest factors listed above.  Comments are used in the preparation of an Environmental Assessment and/or an Environmental Impact Statement pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act.  Comments are also used to determine the need for a public hearing and to determine the overall public interest of the activity.

PUBLIC HEARING: Any person may request, in writing, within the comment period specified in this notice, that a public hearing be held to consider this application.  Requests for public hearings must state clearly and concisely, the reasons and rationale for holding a public hearing.

COMMENT AND REVIEW PERIOD: Conventional mail or e-mail comments on this public notice will be accepted and made part of the record and will be considered in determining whether it would be in the public interest to authorize this proposed work.  In order to be accepted, e-mail comments must originate from the author’s e-mail account and must include on the subject line of the e-mail message the permit applicant’s name and the Corps file number POH-2010-00244. 

All e-mail comments should be sent to:

jessie.k.paahana@usace.army.mil

Conventional mail comments should be sent to:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Honolulu District
Regulatory Office, Building 230
Attention: Jessie Paahana
Fort Shafter, Hawaii  96858-5440

Both conventional mail or e-mail comments must reach this office no later than the expiration date of this public notice to become part of the record and be considered in the decision.  Please contact Ms. Jessie Paahana at (808) 835-4107 if further information is desired concerning this notice.  This public notice is issued by the Chief, Regulatory Office.